Cuba to attract more Chinese visitors with versatile appeal

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-23 12:15:16|Editor: ZD
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TRINIDAD, Cuba, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Cuba is bent on attracting more Chinese visitors by promoting destinations that appeal to multifaceted travelers, said a Cuban official from the tourism ministry.

Reinier Rondon, a tourism ministry delegate to the central province of Sancti Spiritus, told Xinhua that the two countries are working together to attract more Chinese visitors.

"There is a joint work program between the ministries of tourism of Cuba and China to encourage and increase tourism," said Rondon. "We know it has a great potential, so the arrival of Chinese visitors here will soon be notable."

Among the top destinations Sancti Spiritus is promoting are the historic colonial town of Trinidad, a popular tourist attraction about 370 km southeast of the capital Havana, and also the third of the first seven villages founded on the island by Spanish settlers, said Rondon.

Another destination is Valle de los Ingenios (the Valley of the Sugar Mills), where dozens of sugar factories operated during the Spanish colonial era. Both destinations were declared World Heritage Sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1988.

Furthermore, the province has a beautiful beach with 23 different dive sites, eco-tours and lodging infrastructure that includes more than 4,000 rooms distributed among state-run hotels and privately-owned accommodations.

"We have many things to offer, but the most important tourism resource that Sancti Spiritus has, like the rest of Cuba, is its people," said Rondon.

Rondon's remarks were echoed by Tashi Dorjee, a visiting Chinese photographer exploring the cobblestone streets of Trinidad with his wife.

"Everything is very interesting, but what attract me most are the houses and the people," said Tashi, adding that the buildings are very colorful and very different from those in other countries.

The picturesque city, he said, reminds him of his hometown Guilin, a city in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

In November, then Cuban Tourism Minister and now Prime Minister Manuel Marrero visited China and designated 2021 as the year of tourism exchange between China and Cuba.

He also announced China will be the featured guest country at the 40th edition of Cuba's International Tourism Fair in 2020.

The number of Chinese visitors to Cuba has in recent years risen to 50,000, a number officials from leisure industry hope to double in three years by working together with Chinese travel agencies.

Cuban tourism authorities hope to see 4.5 million foreign visitors in 2020, up by 200,000 from 2019, including thousands more from China.